Dr. Fred Silver, Professor of Pathology at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and the biomedical engineering team at Rutgers have developed a 15-minute “virtual biopsy” procedure for detecting skin cancer. His findings, published here, demonstrate a unique process called VOCT, or Vibrational Optical Coherence Tomography, which creates a 3-D map of the legion’s width and depth under the skin with a tiny laser diode. It uses Lumedica’s standard OCT framework, plus soundwaves to test the lesion’s density and stiffness since cancer cells are stiffer than healthy cells. Lumedica’s Chief Technology Officer, Dr. William Brown, worked with Dr. Silver and his team to customize Lumedica’s core OCT system in order to accommodate the study’s requirements. This “virtual biopsy” could give providers the ability to analyze a skin tumor non-invasively, making biopsies much less risky and distressing to patients. The study is awaiting FDA approval for large scale testing.

Ruchit Shah, a Rutgers doctoral candidate in the biomedical engineering department, and researchers at the Neigel Center for Cosmetic and Laser Surgery and Center for Advanced Eye Care, co-authored the study

“This is exactly the kind of innovation we hoped for when when we created affordable OCT for the scientific community,” said Adam Wax, Lumedica’s founder and inventor of affordable OCT. “This demonstrates how OCT can contribute to research studies that might one day lead to new approaches for disease detection.”